When Doing a Better Job Isn't Good Enough

Simply doing a better job isn’t good enough anymore.


Performing the same old tasks faster won’t cut it. Title agencies realize they must improve the efficiency of their methods to stay competitive in an industry that has entered a period of flux. But many agencies are making the mistake of thinking they can keep up simply by hiring more employees or pushing their staff to work harder. This is a dangerously limited approach to business improvement, because it neglects to address the framework in which the employees are working.


No matter how much you tweak outdated methods, they will never help you flourish in an industry that has already moved forward. No matter how much you soup up a car, it will never outstrip a jet.   


Mandrien has been working overtime the past couple of weeks helping several title agencies across the country improve their business methods. These agencies were successful and expanding, but they had come against a wall. They had refined their old methods to perfection, but found they still couldn’t keep up. In order to remain successful, they realized, they had to make some bigger changes. That’s why they called us in.


Luckily for them, they had already taken the first step to process improvement. They accepted that change was inevitable and decided to move forward. Many agencies are resistant to the prospect of change—either because they are too attached to their old ways or simply too scared to take the plunge—and put off improvements indefinitely. This mistake is often fatal.


So what are some ways that a title agency could undergo a process improvement?


First, better technology is indispensable. The right software will automate rote tasks, guide the process step by step, and keep all interested parties easily apprised of new developments. A sturdy technological infrastructure will also allow agencies to scale upward and downward quickly without sacrificing efficiency. By automatically time-stamping key points in the process, software can help management monitor key turn-time metrics so they can quickly identify and eliminate bottlenecks. Investing in new technology opens up new possibilities in efficiency and quality control.


Furthermore, the new technology should allow the agency to adopt a paperless process. Going paperless can be a difficult step for some title professionals. Many agents become attached to physical files and visualize their workflow in terms of stacks of paper. But storing documents online means they can be easily transferred to, and quickly accessed by, interested parties. The paperless title process is here to stay, and agencies should profit of it as quickly as possible.


Agencies should also take a good hard look at their process map and consider task redistribution. Are a constant influx of routine telephone calls and emails keeping staff from concentrating on their job? Create a call center staffed with highly trained customer service reps. Could outsourcing certain steps save the agency time and money? Research vendors and weigh the possibility. Understanding how all employees fit into the larger framework of the organization is the linchpin of the task redistribution process, so creating a detailed organizational chart can be helpful.


Finally, many agencies benefit from calling in an expert who can use business process improvement techniques such as Six Sigma to pinpoint the individual agency’s strengths and weaknesses. Without an outside pair of eyes, many agencies don’t realize where their true limitations lie. An analytic approach to identifying and removing defects is an excellent way to ensure an agency’s long-term profitability.


Now is the time to embrace the new possibilities that technology has opened up for the title industry. No matter how perfectly an agency hones the old methods, it will fall short of its competitors if it doesn't evaluate and ultimately implement certain changes. Stop making the same mistakes—look into process improvement today.

2012-02-13 | Add a Comment
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Patricia | 2012-07-29 23:32:15 | reply
You were extremely lucky, but it denpeds.It could be that you were dealing with a small collection agency that do not subscribe to the credit bureaus. Credit reporting is expensive, and credit bureaus collect information only from their members (and from public records).For future reference, if you ever have to pay off a collection agency again, get a "pay for delete" agreement with them. The collection agency must agree to delete all derogatory information they placed in your credit files. Get the agreement in writing before you pay a dime. Keep copies for your records. Good luck
reply Jaylyn | 2012-12-30 07:32:38 | reply
Stellar work there everyone. I'll keep on raeidng.